Higher bills on the way for Rockland property taxpayers

Posted Aug. 19, 2014, at 1:45 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Property tax bills in Rockland will be higher this year by 3 percent, according to the city assessor.

Rockland Assessor Dennis Reed said Tuesday that the tax rate was set at $20.16 per $1,000 of assessed property. This is up from the $19.52 rate set last year. A person owning a home assessed by the city at $150,000 will pay $3,024, an increase of $96.

The first half of the taxes are due Sept. 26 with the second half due March 6. Bills from the city will be mailed this week.

The top property taxpayers in the city are:

— FMC, a manufacturer of the seaweed-based food ingredient carrageenin, remains top property taxpayer in Rockland. The company has property assessed at about $30 million and will pay $424,000 after exemptions.

— Douglas Dynamics, the owner of the Fisher Engineering snowplow manufacturer, is the second largest taxpayer with a valuation of about $19 million and a bill this year of about $283,000.

— Harbor Plaza LLC, the owner of the shopping center on Camden Street where Shaw’s Supermarket is located, has moved into third place with a valuation of nearly $11 million and a bill of nearly $220,000.

— Harbor Plaza moved to third with the departure of Walmart. Walmart sold its property to Ocean State Job Lot, which occupies about half the building. The other half is available for lease.

The latest tax information shows that 24 percent of property in Rockland — $224 million of $948 million — is exempt from the property tax. The bulk of the exempt properties are owned by the government.

The Rockland Breakwater, for example, is owned by the U.S. government and is assessed at $77 million. The Rockland wastewater treatment plant is assessed at about $23 million.

The largest non-government-owned exempt properties are medical facilities under Maine Health, which include the Bok building, the Knox Center and Kno-Wal-Lin’s office building, and Mid-Coast Mental Health property that total slightly more than $13 million.

The Farnsworth Art Museum is second at $10.6 million.

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